Miniatures by Kashmira Panchal of Miniature World
As a child, I was always fond of cute little things and I loved collecting mini dolls and stickers. I still have them.
How did you first get started making miniatures in August 2015?
I have always been passionate about art and craft, but knew nothing about polymer clay and miniatures until last year. I remember picking up a packet of modeling clay only because of its attractive packaging. I didn’t know what to do with it. I first started making cartoon characters and completely got hooked on the process of clay modeling. Not only was it creatively satisfying, but was also a great stress buster for me.
I started searching on the Internet for more ideas and mediums to work with and came across polymer and air dry clay. I enjoyed the whole process and soon it became a routine for me: work 10 AM-7 PM, come home, and make miniatures.
Do you remember the very first miniature you ever made?
My first miniature was a Tweety figurine.
I love making miniature food, especially desserts. To be honest, I’m not really a foodie and must have searched for so many food pictures for the first time in my life. There are gazillions of food items, so I get an opportunity to explore more and more.
What is the most challenging miniature to make?
Anything that requires using liquid clay mainly because we don’t have it here in India. It’s pretty expensive to order it online, so I always have to look for alternatives.
Liquid clay often comes in handy for sticking clay pieces together but because of its unavailability, I have to use glue which I feel isn’t a reliable option.
What are some unique materials you have used in your work?
I don’t have any molds and own only a few tools. I like looking around and finding things that can be put to use in crafting: incense sticks, tea light candle holders, to pen and bottle caps. I have used them all.
Also I don’t own an oven. This may come as a surprise as I mostly work with polymer clay. I started making miniatures as a hobby and buying an oven just for baking clay was out of question. So,I made my own baking apparatus and heat all my clay creations with regular cooking gas.
Do not compare your work with other miniaturists. As a beginner, you cannot compare your work with that of an expert. Instead, focus on developing and discovering different techniques on your own. Find ways that will make you stand apart from other miniature brands.
What inspires you? What keeps you creating?
Most of the inspiration comes from my surroundings. Whenever I’m out with friends or family, I keep looking for things that can be made into miniature. Sometimes, I’m totally blank and struggle to get any ideas, while other times my mind is bustling with ideas, so I make a note of all the things I wish to create.
Also I prefer not to watch tutorials, because I like figuring out my own techniques.
Who are some of your favorite artists working in miniature?
Tanja of SugarCharmShop. Love how realistic her miniatures look.
What is the most memorable miniature you have ever seen by another artist?
It has to be an eyeball by SugarCharmShop. Tanja made it look so real that it took me a while to realize that it is, in fact, fake.
I want miniatures to get as much recognition as other media of art receive. Also, people should realize that handmade items are not cheap. An artist has to spend time conceiving an idea, ensuring it’s unique, implementing it, and working really hard to deliver the results. It’s a one man show so it really breaks my heart to see someone undervaluing work. The least that buyers and collectors can do is think about how much time and effort went into creating a unique handmade piece they’re thinking of buying.
Respect artists and their work.
What would you like to see replicated in miniature?
I would love to see the iconic Marine Drive replicated. It’s a place in Mumbai, also called the Queen’s necklace because of its shape.
I love how cute they look. I personally feel that customized miniatures make the best gift. They have a uniqueness in them that no machine can ever replicate.
I have a few ideas in the pipeline and hope that they materialize soon. Until now, making miniatures has been a hobby, but soon I plan to convert it into a small business. I’m a self taught artist and my goal is just to get better in this art form. I plan to make more scenes and dolls.
Favorite miniature quote?
Good things come in small packages.
Other activities you enjoy?
I love reading thriller novels and watching movies.
India’s Kashmira Panchal of Miniature World is an IT engineer by profession who has been making miniatures since August 2015. As a self taught artist based in Mumbai, Kashmira loves finding tricks and tips when making miniatures. To see more Miniature World work, visit Instagram or Facebook.